Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Dun Done and the Copper was Mine...

Just landed from a fantastic ride... Hit up something i'd never done before, namely, the newly finished Coppermine. Headed up Codgers. Nearly at Tantragee bumped into a local (looked like he might have been guiding a couple of non locals?) who i asked if Jenkins was clear from 3rd house through, and he suggested i do the Coppermine instead, and as i'd never ventured further than not far past 3rd house before, figured i should... So. headed on up. met a few riding down, at intervals, including one really large group, passed one older couple near 3rd House, and continued on past that on up the Dun Mtn trail. gets a little narrower further up, and then eventually bursts out into the mineral belt, much different from the beech forest earlier, open and scrubby and quite spectacular. Trail is quadbikeable up here, wending its way round to the Coppermine Saddle, where you're greeted with a sign saying to the effect, Control your speed, Expert trail ahead... had taken me slightly less than 2 hours to get to this point. lay down in the sun and ate my OneSquare thinking 'fuck i'm shattered'...

then, seat down, just a little, looked at my watch, 12.30, and hit the trail down. Swoop swoop corner, swoop swoop corner, long bit, pumpy water bars, nice and wide, lots of room, and man this track is gonna be primo once its been made a little more difficult by weather. very enjoyable descent back and forward down this big basin of a valley, remaining in the mineral belt for a long time, getting lower and lower, and it seemed the further down you get the longer and faster the straights are, but you cant quite just let go cos you dont know what's coming up round the next bend. anyway, got back into the forest and swooped and flew and flowed down down down. glanced at my watch it it was 12.55, and i was still descending... somewhere in the forest i must have passed the track to the Maitai Caves, met a couple of walkers as i swooped and bombed on down what is tantamount to a wheelchair track, only a little too steep for wheelchairs. finally, popped out on the 4wd track that Peaking Ridge finishes on, and bombed that out down the Maitai, onto the nice little singletrack to the coathanger bridge.

here, i decided to check out the waterpipe track, and rode that round above the river for quite a while, passing the turnoff to Jack's Clearing, and continuing on down til i met a motorbike, then a tracked motorised wheelbarrow, and then a guy with a digger, at the end of the line... chatted with him, couple more weeks he said, oh well, back up and round the track past the tracked thing, and the bike, and on down the steep descent to the Maitai river. do you think i could find suitable stepping stones??? waded in the nice cold water up over my knees, carrying the bike, and then hit the gravel road down down down the maitai. Just after the seal began i headed over that coathanger bridge to Tantragee. Stupidly biked up the saddle, instead of the easy way down the Maitai singletrack, and then rode Codgers down, thereby closing my loop.

total time out riding? 3 hours 15 minutes, not bad for a 4-5 hour ride, eh?

and here's a video of the trail!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday Pleasant sunset Dreamwood

Great ride tonight. Andy, Tony, Warry, Wayney, Roby, Dalley, Becky and meey piled up outside Warry's place and headed round back of Ferrymead for an eyeopening experience for Bex.

Then it was up Mt Pleasant, a steady slog to the top with the odd regroup. Sun had well and truly set and light starting to flag as we headed out along the top of Greenwood. Lights were donned by the Wazz and me (the others all had theirs on) before the descent began, tho first off no lights were needed, tho it certainly was getting sketchy and i believe a few crashed here or there... a brief regroup at bottom of the top switchbacks, and off we headed, down and round, my flow on as good as ever, seemingly effortless rolling smoothly and sweetly and loving it all.

A regroup at the usual spot just past gloomy gulch and we noticed a few rocks about, and looked up and there's about the only rock face on the whole trail... the tailenders caught up and off we went again. lights off to start with but on very soon after, tho barely necessary. good flow down the next section, loved the new line into the lower switchback section, you'd hardly know there was an old line. then round into the creeky bit and back out for the blast before the rocky stepups, the first of which i momentummed into just with a dab push up the final lip and cleaned the second whereupon i stopped to watch the others - Robin and Bex still back on the switchbacks. waited for them to show up and then off down the last bit, that drop to the right above the road as always giving me the heebeejeebees..

Hit up the top of Capt Thomas, boy is it overgrown... just down to the old maintrack and back up onto the road, for the final descent down the scarred road blazing down to the Road Closed barrier and into the cool air pooling then patches of sudden warmth past the containers and containers and containers, round thru sumner, causeway, back round Ferrymead cracked up singletrack to Warren's.

a magnificent way to finish a tuesday.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday Blottle Ache

Quick dusk and nighttime spin of the pond tonight. all up it was Pete, Steve, Dallas, Warren, Robin and me. nothing of note particularly happened, except somehow the pad part one of my rear brake pads came off leaving me with no back brake... made for one interesting moment, where i overcooked it into a corner locking up the front wheel sideways and nearly losing it. Also, we lost Robin somewhere along the way... managed to get him on the phone on our way back (after splitting and looping round two ways to try to find him). He was at the cars when we got back...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Hillage

Met Andy, Wayne, Tony and Pete at Steve's(who didn't join us), and headed up Huntsbury. Good climb, good pace, and beautiful day.

Bombed the Traverse (after pete had returned to the start (not collecting 200$) to fetch his sunnies), all on good form, the Thompsons, some greasiness here, then up road to top of Worsleys. Due to short time -- down this and into the B line for much hooting and enjoyment. no major offs and everybody was peaking on their performances. at bottom of Worsley's the arm on Pete's sunnies broke, indicating he should have lost them to start with... bombed down the road, then the sideline even faster than ever, and then round river back to Steve's and home just in time for my duties...

Saturday Travis Planting riverine meandering

Individually or perhaps grouped, ways were made to Andy's. i was latish and hit the road, getting a call from Steve at Wainoni/Breezes saying they'd meet me at Pages Bridge, so i spun my way to them. They being Andrew, Steve and Wayne.

We headed along the southbank sort of enjoying (and sort of not) the undulatory nature of the newly built stopbanks. someone likened it to a really rough downhill only you had to pedal the whole time. at Anzac drive bridge we spotted Dallas across river and met him over there. Rode along that north side to Basset St then up that to Travis and round to the planting.

Well over 100 people, close to 150-200 perhaps, put a couple thousand plants in the ground and then enjoyed sossies afterwards.

Then us bikers headed for my place via the river all the way bar Retreat Rd...

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Tuesday hilltop nightride

Pete picked up me then we got Bex and headed for the kiwi. There, were Steve, Tony, Wayne, Andy, Dallas, Marie and Mark, a real posse for a ride of many regroups, and lingering to watch the many splendid trail of lights out behind.

We headed up round to the second Thomsons which we huffed and chuffed up, pollen star field a constant reminder of hayfever potentialities... Regrouped then set off round the Traverse, into a bit of a wind, lovely dry conditions, and my legs feeling gooood. brief regroup under sugarloaf where the sign used to be then onwards round to the end, yippee.

At the road crossing there was another large posse, to whom I said, "my group's bigger than yours". They held back for a couple of us, then headed off to blind the others. Numerous other riders rode by while we were regrouping. Next up, we hit Vernon, with slightly more of us heading all the way down to Rapaki (Steve, Wayne, Mark and Marie pulling out at Farmtrack exit). Awesome to hit this again, dry compared to last week and so so fun. Rocks snaggled me in a couple of places, wrong geared etc, but blasted the final bit, losing a little less on the offcamber by the 'pond'.

Back up the road round back to Traverse and another regroup... headed back round Traverse and this time tail wind pushing us fast and fun all the way round again, blasting and finishing by taking in both the Thomsons, speedy bliss.

From Kiwi, up the road for an awesome blast of the Nun. Railing corners, flying jumpies, pure excellence. Then in the lower tophalf, came over that wee rise followed by the wooden bridge, some broom hit my helmet and instantly I was in total darkness... totally expecting to crash, waiting for the pain, slammed on the brakes and somehow bailed up before hitting either the bank or going off the edge. Flicked the switch and got going again, popping up in front of Mark who was parked in the truck. Pete passed by, then Andy, then Steve, and i got back in behind him, decided to wait a little for Tony to catch up then headed down again. Chasing and gaining and getting a little loose in spots. Steve's light was starting to warn him it was gonna give up and i saw it strobe on one of the lower jumpies, as i caught him. Still having a fair bit of juice in the legs i cranked up the road to see how Bex was doing, dropping in opposite the lower entrance to Gov's Bay track and hopping down in front of her, leading her thru the jumpies.

We regrouped for the last time, loaded bikes, said our byes and headed home. A great ride.